Newspaper Article

June 16, 2018

"You Don't Have to Experience the Absence of a Father"

This Father's Day is a very different one for my wife due to the passing away of her dad a couple of months ago. This will be the first of these observances when her dad won't be here to receive her card and well-wishes on this day set aside to honor our fathers. She will join a host of others who will feel the absence of a father today, who instead of having the opportunity to extend a hug or a phone call will have to settle for honoring his memory.

The absence of fathers is a big problem in our society today. I'm not primarily referring to situations such as my wife's case in which those fathers were vital parts of their families until they died late in life. I'm talking about dads who aren't there or involved in their families as their children grow up - those who aren't present to provide, guide, support, and be an example for their kids - those who leave it up to moms to raise a family on her own. I'm referring to those who were never committed or who walked out on their commitment to marriage and fatherhood. Many of the ills of our world today can be traced back to some degree to the lack of father-figures in families.

The good news is that even if, for whatever reason, your earthly father is absent, you can still have a Heavenly Father in your life. One of the main ways in which God has chosen to picture His relationship with us is that of a Father. He loves, leads, protects, and disciplines. He offers us His infinite wisdom. Most of all, He's there for us. He makes His home with us. We can know Him personally and enjoy a close relationship with Him.

If you sense the absence of the Heavenly Father in your life, be assured that the fault doesn't fall on Him. If He hasn't made His home with you, it's not because He hasn't wanted to do so. The only way you could keep Him out would be by refusing to let Him in. He has called out to you. He has persistently knocked on your door. If He's absent, it's because you've locked Him out.

If the Heavenly Father is absent from your life, it's not because He doesn't love you. He loved you so much that He came to earth in flesh and blood in order to give His life for you. In the person of Jesus, He died so that You could live. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13).

If the Heavenly Father is absent from your life it's not because He has walked out on you or forsaken His commitment to you. It's because you have walked away from Him and your commitment to Him. As a matter of fact, even if you've walked away, He's still following after you, pursuing you, and hoping you will turn back to Him.

If you sense an absence of the Heavenly Father in your life, it's not because He has died. Although our earthly fathers pass away, our Heavenly Father will never leave us or forsake us. If He is absent, it's due to death in our own souls and spirits. It's due to our allowing sin to take root, grow, and choke out our spiritual life.

So let's be thankful we have a Heavenly Father who wants to be part of our lives. If we haven't been allowing that to happen, then let's open up the door of our hearts to Him today.